Playing video games with your friends is special. There’s no two ways about it. Getting to unwind at the end of a long day or even dive into a marathon session with a group of friends is downright therapeutic. But a multiplayer game also means a chance for fierce competition against equally-skilled strangers online. Each year we like to reflect on the multiplayer games that absorbed our time, demanded we improve, or left us unable to think about playing anything else. Halo Infinite managed to do all of these.
Released early in a beta format to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Xbox, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer was an immediate hit. Players that hadn’t touched a Halo game in years found their way back into some Spartan armor and proceeded to dominate the competitive arena. Where other games lean into the modern shooter ways of twitch reflexes, Halo stays firm in its roots. It’s always been about movement, positioning, and map knowledge – and of course accuracy – and this shines through with Halo Infinite.
With such a packed year full of excellent games, it speaks volumes that Halo Infinite has us wanting to play more – even when the multiplayer didn’t launch in a perfect state. To 343 Industries’ credit, the team has done a stellar job at hearing, addressing, and fixing the woes players have had. The Battle Pass progression has been honed, the challenges are now more realistic, and there are now Slayer, FFA, and SWAT playlists. For a game that is already addictive, the support and commitment from 343 Industries means it’s going to remain firmly hooked into our brains for a long time.
For those Halo fans that have been hoping for a multiplayer experience that will awaken the long-dormant skills of their youth, Halo Infinite is here. For the players that love nothing more than to get together with their friends and play an approachable and hilariously enjoyable game, Halo Infinite is here. It’s time to celebrate, because Halo Infinite is here and it is great. Congratulations to the team at 343 Industries for delivering this year’s Shacknews Best Multiplayer Game of 2021.
Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We will be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.